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Farm machinery needs a little TLC from time to time

Posted on February 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM by Iowa Corn

If you’ve had your automobile detailed, you understand the transformation that can take place from dirty to clean. Beyond simply washing the exterior and vacuuming the interior, detailing means just what it says — cleaning all the details of a vehicle to make it sparkle like

Bill Anderson of Buffalo Center owns All Pro Detail.
He has a shop and also travels to farms or dealerships to
 detail ag equipment. 

Some farmers and equipment dealers also see value of detailing tractors and combines to keep the equipment clean after tough growing seasons — looking good and well maintained — to hold its value.

Bill Anderson of Buffalo Center, Iowa, operates All Pro Detail and says detailing farm equipment has grown to a big part of his business. Anderson, who grew up in Northwest Iowa, lived on the East Coast for few years working in the auto-detailing and car business. In 2012, he returned to Iowa and opened his shop. Farm equipment has been a large segment of his business.

“I started by talking a few farmers into having me detail their tractor in addition to the pickup they brought to me. Once they saw how good their equipment looked, word spread and business continued,” says Anderson, who will travel up to 300 miles to visit farms or equipment dealerships.

Anderson has detailed tractors, combines, grain carts and other equipment, including ATVs and lawn mowers.

“Farmers have invested thousands of dollars of equipment, so this is small investment into keeping their equipment well maintained and in good shape so they are ready for the next season. Or, maybe they’ll decide to trade it and want to get the most money for the trade-in,” Anderson says.

He says farmers often spray down the equipment but do not have the time or sometimes the patience to clean and detail it.

Anderson uses pressure washers and various tools — even toothbrushes — to degrease and clean out every nook and cranny. He will treat and condition leather seats or steam clean cloth seats to extract dust.

“I take the time and just love to do it,” Anderson says.

Chris Brunsvold, owner of Brunsvold Farm Equipment of Wesley, Iowa, has hired Anderson to help him detail equipment for his dealership. Brunsvold is an independent ag-equipment dealer specializing in used tractors. His inventory ranges from tractors just a few years old to mint-condition restoration projects. In addition to tractors, he sells used skid steers, forklifts, trailers and other miscellaneous items.

Brunsvold says, “A couple years ago, I started hiring Anderson to help detail some antique cars I had and then he offered to detail tractors too.

“I’m pretty particular with the ag equipment and like to do a lot of the cleaning myself, but his detailing was better than mine. I thought, he can do this and I can have time for other things.

He adds, “Like cars, equipment looks better and seems to hold its value when it is maintained on the outside and inside.

“When you take care of your equipment and have pride of ownership, you’ll have a better return when you trade it in or sell it. I advise farmers to have their whole line of equipment detailed every year or every other year just to help maintain the condition of the equipment.”

Megan Daniel of Bethany, Mo., owns A & J Detailing, a shop she’s had for about three years. She offers a wide-range of vehicle detailing which includes ag equipment.

“The majority of farmers call me after harvest,” she says.

“Farmers have me come out to their farms to clean and detail their equipment before winter. That way I clean out all the dust and debris from harvest and get rid of any mold or any residue that was left in the machine.

“However, some farmers wait until spring and have their tractors detailed before they start the planting season, and then some have equipment cleaned after planting season. Sometimes, it depends on the condition of the season and what the equipment endured in the field.”

Daniel has detailed sprayers, tractors, combines, grain trucks and handling equipment and more.

“I vacuum out the machines, wipe everything down, polishing the inside, hand-wash and hand-wax the equipment on the outside,” she says.

She will travel to farms in the area and usually they have several pieces of equipment for her to detail.

Daniel advises farmer to think about detailing as an important part of the overall maintenance program.

“Detailing and keeping the equipment clean helps maintain the value of the piece,” Daniel says. “It helps with the upkeep of the equipment and makes the owner feel better about their equipment when they use it again.”


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